Zimbabwe: Military seizes power from Robert Mugabe; guarantees his safety

The leader of Zimbabwe’s influential liberation war veterans called on Wednesday for South Africa, southern Africa and the West to re-engage with Zimbabwe after the military seized power from 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces Major-General SB Moyo makes an announcement on state broadcaster ZBC

Chris Mutsvangwa hailed the military’s overnight move as the “correction of a state that was careening off a cliff” and said the military administration would usher in a “better business environment” after years of disinvestment and economic decline.

Following is the text of an address made by Zimbabwe Major General SB Moyo, Chief of Staff Logistics, on national television after the military seized power:

“Following the address we made on November 13, 2017, which we believe our main broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and The Herald were directed not to publicize, the situation in our country has moved to another level. Firstly, we wish to assure the nation that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and commander-in-chief of Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Comrade RG Mugabe, and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed.

“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice.

“As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy. To the civil servants, as you are aware, there is a plan by the same individuals to influence the current purging that is taking place in the political sphere to the civil service. We are against that act of injustice and we intend to protect every one of you against that.

“To the judiciary, the measures underway are intended to assure that as an independent arm of the state you are able to exercise your independent authority without fear of being obstructed as has been the case with this group of individuals.

“To our members of parliament, your legislative role is of paramount importance for peace and stability in this country and it is our desire that a dispensation is created that allows you to serve your respective political constituencies according to democratic tenets.

“To the generality of the people of Zimbabwe we urge you to remain calm and limit unnecessary movement. However, we encourage those who are employed and those with essential business in the city to continue their normal activities usual. Our wish is that you enjoy your rights and freedoms and that we return our country to a dispensation that allows for investment, development and prosperity that we all fought for and for which many of our citizens paid the supreme sacrifice.

“To political parties we urge you to discourage your members from engaging in violent behaviour.

“To the youth we call upon you to realize that the future of this country is yours. Do not be enticed with dirty coins of silver. Be disciplined and remain committed to the ethos and values of this great nation.

“To all churches and religious organisations in Zimbabwe we call upon you and your congregations to pray for our country and preach the gospel of love, peace, unity and development.

“To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government. What the Zimbabwe Defence Forces is actually doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country, which if not addressed may result in a violent conflict.

“We call upon all the war veterans to play positive in ensuring peace, stability and unity in the country.

“To members of the defence forces, all leave is cancelled and you all to return to your barracks with immediate effect.

“To our respected traditional leaders, you are our custodians of our culture, customs, traditions and heritage and we request you to provide leadership and direction to your communities for the sake of unity and development in our country.

“To the other Security Services: We urge you to cooperate for the good of our country. Let it be clear that we intend to address the human security threats in our country. Therefore any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.

“To the media; we urge you report fairly and responsibly.

“Thank you”

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